Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Public protests intensify after  fuel price hike to offset CPC losses     

A shortage of fuel in crisis-hit Sri lanka  ignited massive protests across the country as tens of thousands of angry motorists burned tyres and blocked a major roads leading into capital Colombo

Protests have engulfed the island nation over the past weeks after the government ran out of dollars to finance vital imports like food, medicine and fuel.

The government has raised fuel prises in unbearable proportions  to offset  massive daily loss of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation(CPC) which intensified  e public protests countrywide.

In one of the  incident  reported on Tuesday 19 at least 24 injured people injured and one person died in  the Rambukkana protest when the Police opened fire after using minimum power of manhandling , teragasing and batoning , eye witnesses said.

Police curfew has been declared within the limits of Rambukkana police area with immediate effect.

The fuel price hike  triggered widespread public protests with people taking to  several main roads,with the Colombo-Kandy road and Colombo-Chilaw road have been blocked by protesters 

Trains on the main line were delayed as the protesters were blocking the railway line in the Rambukkana area.

Several protests have been witnessed in Kandy, Galle, Gampola, Mathugama, Baddegama, Avissawella, Kegalle, Hingurakgoda, and Madampe this morning.

Moreover, buses are unable to proceed with their journeys on the Chilaw-Colombo main road as protestors throng the road.

 ylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was still making a daily loss of Rs. 327 million from the sale of fuel even after the increase of the prices on Monday night, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said.

He told Parliament that the CPC was making a daily loss of Rs. 1.6 billion by Monday night.

The Minister said they had to increase fuel prices to ensure continuous procurement of fuel required for power generation.

“We have to procure fuel shipments regularly to maintain electricity supply with minimum interruptions. We had to increase fuel prices to find money for that purpose,” he said.

He said anyone who would take over the ministry would have to increase fuel prices and said he was ready to hand over the ministry to anyone if they could reduce fuel prices.

The Minister said they had discussions with the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and reached an agreement to adopt a formular to increase fuel prices of the two institutions in same amounts in the future.

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